Welfare paying out €924/second to support half population

In Blog by Denis Naughten

One of the most important jobs that any Parliamentary Committee has is to monitor the spending of the Government Department that comes under their remit.

In the case of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection, we are responsible for the oversight of the Department of Social Protection with a budget in 2021 of just over €29bn.

This week we had a very interesting presentation at our Committee from the Oireachtas Parliamentary Budget Office on the mid-year review of spending by the Department of Social Protection which you can access here:

PBO Presentation for publication

This presentation highlights the fact that the Department is spending €924 every single minute and in 2021, one in every 2 adults in Ireland received weekly payments from this Department.

This really brings to the fore the need to support people to get back into the workforce a point which I made to An Taoiseach in the Dáil last week.

See here:


The Oireachtas Parliamentary Budget Office has also produced a paper on Labour Market Scarring. Following the labour market shock arising from the COVID-19 restrictions, there is a potential risk of labour market scarring. This report outlines the potential impact of this, and gives context on the sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and the disproportionate effect on youth unemployment. The paper then outlines the impacts of long-term unemployment in the form of a wage penalty, diminished skills, limited career prospects and social exclusion. The scarring effects caused by the pandemic could have prolonged implications for the economy and could result in higher long-term unemployment and lower economic output.

You can read the report here: labour-market-scarring_en